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Re: Splitting AMEX Plat bought 2 slots from @yossig
very nice guy, answered all my questions patiently
i got my digital priority pass card already,
will update when i get physical card and actual cc

October 02, 2019, 02:47:29 PM
Re: Splitting AMEX Plat
Smooth transaction with  @yossig . First got the digital pp. Just got the physical pp and play today.
Not a moment to soon since I'll be traveling DL 3 days this week.
same here
nice transaction x2 with @yossig he made sure i got the digital card and then house delivered the physical card
a real nice guy

October 31, 2019, 07:44:04 AM
Re: Capital One Credit Increase theres a reason (among many others) the fellows here call them crapitalone
February 18, 2020, 06:10:18 PM
on chase website showing $444 rt
plugged in apr5-18 (shabbos return)

February 23, 2020, 05:04:32 PM
circling the globe I have been wanting to write a TR about my trip around the world in November, practically since i came back. Time constraints have prevented me from doing so, but since the corona-virus has gotten out of hand, and business is weak or nonexistent, i have some extra time for it.

if you are waiting to hear a report on first class travel, suites in 5 star hotels, and multi course meals in fancy restaurants, this TR is not for you. This trip was the peanut butter jelly sandwich, tuna cans, crackers, joe's motel type of trip. We went on a budget, and scheduled the night flights (in cattle class) in order to save $ and to maximize time at the destinations. We spent 1-3 days at each destination, i dont dare to claim that i covered all there was to do in each place, or even close to that. We were trying to get a taste of each place, and to experience the feel of what was for us very exotic destinations, things that we had grown up hearing about, but had never come close to seeing. Last but not least, we went to come back with cool pictures of faraway lands. in my parents generation thats quite an embarrassing thing to say, but today i dont think i am such a sore thumb.

the route was TLV-AMM-AUH-PEK-PVG-SYD-HNL-ANC-SEA-NYC-HEL-TLV. We landed back in TLV 15 days after we had left, but actually had a 16 day trip due to crossing the dateline and having 2 november 17's. it was all booked using AA miles, on an account with 350k that was unaccesible thru the online system because it was being audited by AA, and shortly after our trip commenced i got that email saying that my account was being shut down due to violations of T&C's, and that the remaining 0.5k miles were being confiscated. ;) all in all we got great value for my miles, especially considering the above mentioned account termination.

so after all the blabbering here we go....


TLV-AMM-AUH-PEK 25k AA miles per person

nov 10 had us in TLV for a flight to AMM on RJ @6pm, a 2 hour stop and a connection on RJ to AUH. We each had almost 35kg in our bags, and about 20kg in our hand luggage, (all the above mentioned tuna cans peanut butters and cold cuts etc.), and were praying with great fervor. turns out the israeli RJ desk agent was so blown away to see 2 white shirt black pants beard & tzitzis flying charedis going to UAE that he just sent us straight thru w/o issue, including tagging our bags straight to PEK w/o having to take them in AUH for the 20 hours we would be there.
we got to AUH at 1:30 am and went to the budget desk to get our car, we couldnt help noticing (oy vey) the local policewomen in the airport. police are the only arabs in the airport, all other workers are foreign labor. the budget desk agent and the one who gets the car were breaking their teeth in English to each other, being that they were from different countries.we headed out straight for dubai, where we slept at the aloft city centre deira (17.5k marriott points).
we got up, davened ate and headed out. we parked near the gold souk, and went into a store to buy some local attire. we then spent some time in the gold shops gawking at these larger than life gold necklaces, and seeing wealthy locals and their wives pulling out cash stuffed envelopes to pay for them. we actually tried on a 15kg gold necklace, and asked the dealer to put it aside till we come back with the cash עד אשר אבוא אל אדוני שעירה.... i had never experienced the feeling of window shopping before. we then took a few minutes to visit a local iranian spice shop, the mixture of strong smells were truly amazing. we then headed out to the burj khalifa tower, we didnt bother going inside but spent plenty of time marveling and taking pictures from the outside.
we then drove to abu dhabi to the Ferrari museum, most of the rides were closed but we had a grand time posing in a setup Bedouin tent as sheikhs, and trying to see which of the other tourists actually believed we were local sheikhs and which ones called the costumes. most thought we were locals.
we then headed towards the grand mosque in abu dhabi to catch mincha before shkia. it is truly an amazing sight to behold, my uncle wouldnt go in ("theyre on the other team") but i didnt care for his semantics, so i went in myself. in order to pass security u have to print out a ticket with a barcode. the machine asks u a million questions including what country u are from. of course i put in USA, but after i got my barcode i couldnt restrain the urge, so i printed out another one with citizenship marked as israeli and then quickly tossed the second one in the trash bin. when i got the the screening i heard a couple of the guards taking to each other about "israilia" , i couldnt make out any of the other words, but they kept on repeating "israilia" over and over. i hope they still arent waiting for the israeli guy to come....
we then headed for our hotel, the EY 9:20pm flight from AUH to PEK.
at the gate, they asked to see my visa to china. as u might know, to get a chinese visa for US citizens in the consulate in tel aviv u have to pay 550 shekels, israelis only pay 100 shekels, so i had my visa on my israeli passport. i was uncomfortable showing my israeli passport, so i tried telling him that "i have a visa... dont worry... just let me board..." it didnt work. with no other choice i showed it to him, after a long 5 minutes he gave me back my boarding passes, and quipped "i marked u down as visa w/o passport". i didnt know exactly what he meant, and i dont know if that is official policy or his own policy, but i didnt feel like waiting around to find out. we then boarded and went to sleep for the night.
to be continued....

March 12, 2020, 05:23:10 PM
Re: circling the globe PART 5-
we came to HNL for our flight, and had to go thru customs leaving from hawaii to the mainland. there were signs all over saying that u are not allowed to take pineapple and other fruits into the mainland. we went thru, and came to checkin. i had an old cancelled BOA alaskan card which i planned on using to get a free suitcase, but the system wouldnt accept it. we went to the agent to complain, and made sure to compliment her and exclaim ever so loudly what a great agent she was, and to ask her about her family and to wonder why alaskan doesnt give her and her family free tickets to vacation in alaska. eventually she manually put in the free suitcase for both of us and didnt say a word about both of them being 10 lb overweight.
the overnight flight/hotel was comfortable, i must say i was impressed with the space and comfort of alaskan airlines, and we landed in ANC at about 6 am on tuesday Nov 19th. dont let that number 6 fool u. 6 am is in middle of the night. sunrise was aprox. 9:30 that morning. i dont remember what time zman krias shma was, but i do remember thinking that it was a yeshiva bochur's bein hazmanim dream.
we went to the budget desk and rented a full size pickup. it took a couple of minutes to get used to the size, and getting it down around those tiny ramps leaving the airport parking lot was a little nerve wrecking. we headed out of anchorage towards talkeetna, and as soon as we left the city, i started one of the hardest drives of my life. ive been driving for almost 15 years, and have been thru many extreme scenarios, but i really wasnt prepared for this. zero visibility, pouring snow and sleet, the lane markings are totally covered, and very rarely are there road lights. much of the time i wasnt sure if im on the road or the shoulder or the opposite direction lane. signs are not visible at all, and allot of the time i had no idea if im driving in a 2 lane road going in 1 direction or if the left lane is oncoming traffic.
it was supposed to be about a 2 hour drive, but it took me well over double that amount. we also had to stop in every gas station we saw, because of all those warnings that in alaska u always have to have a full tank. heres a small tip if u ever drive one of those monster gas guzzling ford pickups. when u fill up on gas make sure to switch off the engine. if u dont u may never hit the full mark :) .
eventually we got to talkeetna, im sure my mothers tefilos by the shabbos candles had something to do with that. we pulled up to what we assumed was probably supposed to be the parking spot next to talkeetna inn. again, being that everything is just one big block of snow, anything to do with driving is at best an assumption. it took quite a while to wake up out of his/her (we never figured out which one it was) hibernation the one who was supposed to open up for us. when we finally got ahold of him/her. he/she told us your room is room 101 and the code on the door is 1234. so we promptly marched into room 101, only to wake up another hibernating him. we frantically called back him/her and repeated what had happened. him/her apologized and said i made a mistake, ur room is 102. what is the code? u guessed it- 1234. after room 101's story repeating itself in room 102, we dialed again him/her's number and insisted on a room without company. him/her told us, "oh im so sorry, ur room was supposed to be 103". the code wasnt very hard to guess, 1234. very comforting indeed.
after our little saga, we were actually pleasantly surprised by the size and comfort of the room. the heating was working, and here and there the toilet managed to flush. we changed clothes and got started on finding what we had came to alaska for. dog mushing. we called a bunch of numbers but most of them told us that the snow had just started falling that week (i really cant imagine how it looks after a month) and that the trails werent ready yet. eventually we found one, AK sled dog tours, that said if we gave him a few hours he would get the trail and the dogs ready. being that we didnt have any other choice we accepted. it was quite pricey, about $150 per person, but we werent about to leave alaska w/o it, so we bargained for a servicemen discount and reserved.
with a few hours to spare we went into town to have a look. at the local grocery, we shmoozed up the sales boy, and he took us up to the second floor and showed us tens of different furs his family had hunted over the years. wolves, bears, etc. it is actually interesting to hold up a full body of a wolf, which minus the insides, is still in the exact same shape as it was when it roamed the wild.
we then headed to talkeetna airport to see if we could reserve for the next day a flight to denali. they werent sure if the weather would allow it, but meanwhile they showed us a screening (full wall) of what the trip to the mountain peaks had to offer. after that we were quite disappointed to hear that there was no way they would be able to fly that day or the next. but being plenty smarter after that mornings drive, we couldnt disagree. they did allow us to tour ourselves the airport and the planes, and we had a grand time climbing into all these tiny little 4-8 seaters and posing for a bunch of different exciting looking pictures.
at the appointed time we were picked up by 2 of the dog sled hims (no doubt this time). although the actual sledding is only about 45 minutes, the process u have to go thru in order to get to those 45 minutes is almost as hard as converting to reform judaism. for an hour and a half u have to hear the whole history of every one of the hundreds of dogs in their farm. u have to hear replays of every one of the last 10 iditarod's and u must know exactly what place each one of the dogs came into, including explanations of why in 1997 "snuggly" (or whatever else the name is) only came in 4th place even though that in 1996 and 1998 he made it to 3rd place. only when u are totally convinced that they are doing this 100% lshem shamayim w/o any thought of profit, and when u are 50% convinced that as soon as u get home u r gonna sell ur house divorce ur wife, and devote the rest of ur days to this wonderful sport, do they allow u to actually don the special garments and shoes u need for the actual sledding. they then with an awed tone of voice offer u the privilege of donning the actual jacket of the trainer. not just any jacket, but the actual jacket that he wore when he won the iditarod. after that they take u around to personally meet all those special dogs that u spent the last hour and a half of youre life learning about. (one of the hims, after hearing that i have 4 children at home, told me "i have 100 children" as he pointed lovingly at his stables.)
eventually they do let u actually mush. IT IS AMAZING. exhilarating blood rushing pleasure. seriously the most fun activity i have ever done. 8 dogs tied to the sled, each one of them screaming and yelling on the top of its lungs, lunging forward at full speed as if they were being chased by tigers. we took turns between sitting on the sled and standing on/driving the sled. the speed is about 15-20 mph, as these crazy dogs turn the bends ur sled goes sledding and bumping along the way. u have to hold on for dear life as the him promises u that if u fall off there is no way he will be able to stop his crew and u will just be stuck there to freeze over forever. after about 3-4 times that u fall off u start doubting all those heroic iditarod stories. they stop about half way for a little break where u take all those pictures that make u look as if u are in middle of sledding, because while u are actually sledding in the above mentioned conditions, pictures are the last thing on ur mind.
after we finished sledding, we were taken to the kindergarten, where were taught about each little puppy and his pedigree. mamesh rebbishe einiklach. each one has the most pure blood, and im sure they all have very bright futures ahead of them. at least in shlepping around a few yungerleit from eretz yisroel for 45 minutes. then we were finally driven back to the motel, again left wondering how the him drove so effortlessly between those trees, and how he knew exactly when and where to turn when the human eye has know way of seeing the road. maybe its just that he knows that when he gets to the part of the story about "ginger" coming in 6th place u take left, and when "hunter" broke her leg u take right.
fully exhausted, we ate davened, and hit the sack.
to be continued....

March 29, 2020, 08:25:40 PM
Re: Let's churn out those TRs! i know im biased, but i think mine is interesting :)
hit up the comments!

April 26, 2020, 05:13:35 PM
Re: Random Posts post # 770
April 26, 2020, 05:17:37 PM
Re: circling the globe some numbers:

we traveled about 48,000 km

59 hours of flight time + 12 hour train ride

4 continents, 6 countries, 10 flights

trip cost- 345k aa miles +20k delta miles+ aprox $1500 cash spent per person

April 27, 2020, 03:05:22 PM
Re: circling the globe
wow wow just finished reading amazing TR can't decide to which of the destinations i should go now
u can do all of them, its not that complicated :)

May 01, 2020, 04:17:48 AM